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Challenging perceptions and creating fantasies

WILL

WILL

Dance Base

Even the set is a little on the ­teasing side: a box made of crinkly, gauzy material that can, in the shift of a light source, become transparent. Inside it are two girls in the kind of plain white undies that we suppose convent girls wear.

The girls look demure, even if their actions - their inter-twining closeness that is physical, yet has no real eye contact - make you wonder what their relationship is. Twins, maybe? Or are they hostages? Mental patients?

The fabric of their enclosure suggests not, and indeed when the dancers strip down, slip into stilettos and get intimate with themselves, our looking in on them becomes a different kind of voyeurism.

All performance involves ­looking, but this Deja Donne piece nudges at the how and why of that looking, confronts - and crosses - the boundaries we assume between the arty and the pervy.

The two lissome dancers who surrender their privacy to our gaze do so with co­nsummate poise, aware perhaps that we're the ones in the potentially embarrassing positions.

Until August 24

iLOVE

Dance Base

How you view this two-hander about falling in and out of love could well depend on whether you've read the programme before-hand or not. You see, the two Italian guys on stage - Cesare Benedetti and Riccardo Olivier - used to be together.

Now they're not: now they're channeling their memories into a sweetly frisky, cleverly nuanced re-enactment of attraction, courtship, passion and disenchantment - all without any reproachful bile or spiteful sabotaging of each other's moves. Boys - we're grateful you've kept on dancing together, using familiarity to create nicely-timed comedy, a wonderfully heady episode of infatuated happiness and an honest moment of separation. Great music choices throughout - and a curtain-call that grooves to the tune of genuine camraderie. It's easy watching, and classily done.

Until August 24

Spin

Zoo Southside

It's not that the dancers themselves run out of energy - even at the end of 45 full-on minutes the three men and one woman in Harnish-Lacey Dance (from Wales) are still powering out the break-dance spins, the elements of parkour, the acrobatic moves that add a bit of brinkmanship to the mix.

And they're still fit to trundle the two solid "wedges" into yet another configuration, for more of the same running, ­jumping, spinning. What does buckle and limp off into the wings is the choreographic invention.

At half the length, Spin would kick ass. And it wouldn't matter that those dominant wedges take up so much of the stage space that what's left feels like a hamster-run for the dancers. Given the commitment all four performers display, they deserve to see Spin turn into more than a two star show.

Until August 25

L'enfant Qui...

Institut francais d'Ecosse

As if by magic, a little "big top" has sprouted up outside the Institut Francais - and what takes place inside is even more charming than the brightly lit exterior.

Belgian company T1J have brought together a variety of circus skills - acrobatics, pole-work, balancing acts - in a ­fantastical journey through the imagination of a sick child.

The little lad is, in fact, a puppet who - in a reminder of his ailing fragility - is constantly cradled and supported by his mother. She encourages him to play, but really he's storing up memories that will morph into nightmarish hallucinations. Human towers looming over him, or high-speed tumbling that turns his bed-frame into a launch-pad for hurtling bodies.

Even the live cellist becomes part of the balancing action, still playing as she leaves the ground.

Gently whimsical, decidedly wistful, this is an intriguingly alternative kind of circus where the imagery - the loamy smell of earth, the hint of woodland in the props - is as important as the acrobatic daring. And no, you don't need to know about sculptor Jephan Villiers, whose ill health as a child inspired this piece: just enjoy seeing prowess and artistry at close quarters.

Until August 24

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